LG: Having secured 155 votes during the chiwog zomdu on August 16, the former Nubi gup, Tashi Penden, will re-contest for the same post from Gagar-Karshong chiwog in Trongsa.

The other contestant, Sonam Choki, 29, got 118 votes.

Contesting for the post of mangmi, Pema Lhamo, 42, from Jongthang defeated Sangay Dorji, who is also her uncle. Sangay Dorji got 65 votes while his niece obtained 208.

Tashi Penden, 54, from Gagar, who served as gup for two terms, said he is re-contesting because he has many developmental activities to complete. He also served as a tshogpa and chimi in the past.

Tashi Pendhen said people know that he lacks the qualification. “I can just read and write and it is only what is required for the post of gup,” he said. He claims to have knowledge about all the villages and their needs since he has been gup for the past 10 years.

He said he did not process his documents yet although he was quite sure about winning the nomination from the chiwog.

Sonam Choki, 29, from Jongthang congratulated the former gup after the chiwog zomdu results were declared. Sonam Choki graduated from Delhi University with a degree in Arts, and psychology honours in 2010. Developing farm roads towards Jongthang and to nearby villages were her priorities. Before the zomdu, she said she took part in the elections to utilise her knowledge acquired over the years in schools and colleges for the benefit of the people.

Mangmi candidate, Pema Lhamo, 42, studied until the eighth grade and was once a civil servant. She currently runs a shop in Thimphu.

Pema Lhamo said she contested against her uncle who comes from the same house not because of any grudge. “I am doing it to set an example and encourage women to come forward to take part in elections,” she said. Pema was brought up by a single mother and said she understands women and youth-related problems.

Her uncle Sangay Dorji, 64, has served as tshogpa, chimi and gup in the past. He pledged to contribute Nu 1,500 from his salary every month for the renovation of lhakhangs and gondeys in the gewog if he was elected.

The zomdu started with a briefing on the legal provisions related to elections. Election officials also explained to the people about the zomdu and process of identifying and electing their own candidates.

Of the 562 eligible voters in Gagar-Karshong chiwog, 273 people cast their votes. Bjizam and Bemji chiwogs held their zomdus yesterday.

Nima Wangdi | Karshong